By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the fifth-consecutive week, Concordia (Calif.) latches on to the No. 1 position in the 2013 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office Tuesday. The Eagles pulled in 19-of-21 first-place votes and 590 total points in the fifth regular-season edition. With a 40-3 overall record, Concordia is one of two teams in the NAIA with 40-or-more wins.
The sixth regular-season Top 25 and the 2013 Softball National Championship Opening Round host sites will be announced on April 23.
With 40-plus wins in five-straight seasons, Concordia tops the NAIA in ERA (0.620) and opponent batting average (0.130). Offensively, the Eagles are third in runs scored (321) and fifth in batting average (.380). Concordia hosts Arizona Christian on Tuesday in a doubleheader in the final regular-season games. The Eagles are primed to host the Unaffiliated Group (Golden State Athletic Conference / California Pacific Conference) Tournament April 25 – 27.
Moving up one spot, No. 2 Lubbock Christian (Texas) joins Concordia as the only 40-win teams with a 44-7 record. The Lady Chaps (pictured top left) posted the remaining two first-place nods and 568 total points. The ranking ties the highest mark of the year as they were No. 2 in the Preseason Top 25. After winning three-of-four games against then-No. 6 Oklahoma City last weekend, Lubbock Christian put separation in the Sooner Athletic Conference standings. The Lady Chaps lead the league by 3.5 games over the Stars with eight regular season games remaining.
No. 3 Cal State San Marcos drops one position with 549 points. The Cougars were on the short end against Hope International (Calif.) March 28 and April 13 to fall to 34-6 overall.
No. 4 Lee (Tenn.) and No. 5 Williams Baptist (Ark.) continued to hold strong in the top five. The tandem has been Nos. 4 and 5 for the past four-straight weeks.
Three squads made a three-spot jump to mark the best increase within the poll: No. 11 South Carolina-Beaufort, No. 12 St. Gregory’s (Okla.) and No. 16 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
No. 25 Houston-Victoria (Texas) finds itself ranked for the second time this year, with the last coming during the Preseason Top 25 (Nov. 12, 2012).
Central Baptist (Ark.) (No. 24) suffered a fall out of the Top 25 this week. This is the first time since Nov. 9, 2010 (2011 Preseason) that the Mustangs are not ranked (23-straight polls).
Twelve of 21 conferences/independent/unaffiliated groupings are represented in the poll. The SSAC leads the way with six programs within the Top 25: Lee, No. 6 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 9 Belhaven (Miss.), No.14 William Carey (Miss.), No. 18 Brenau (Ga.) and No. 22 Spring Hill (Ala.). The Sooner Athletic Conference claims four ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences /independent /unaffiliated groupings.
For the complete calendar of 2013 Top 25 Polls, click here.
Notes: (all information dating back to 2000) In the only Top-10 battle of the week, No. 9 Belhaven (Miss.) travels to No. 6 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) on Friday… Seventeen programs have been ranked in each of the six polls (including Preseason) this year… No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) has now held the No. 1 position in 11 of the last 13 polls dating back to the 2012 season… The Southern States Athletic Conference lands a trio of teams in the top 10 for the second-straight week… There have been 34 different teams ranked in the Top 25 in six polls this year (which includes the Preseason Top 25)… No. 7 Oklahoma City leads all active schools with 87-straight rankings, falling no lower than 18th during that stretch which dates back to start of 2004 season; No. 2 Lubbock Christian (Texas) and No. 14 William Carey (Miss.) are tied for second with 50-consecutive mentions and No. 1 Concordia is right behind at 41-straight polls… With its first preseason No. 1 ranking in school history back on Nov. 12, 2012, Cal State San Marcos is looking to become the first team to be on top of the preseason charts and win the national championship in the same season since Oklahoma City did so in 2002… There were 38 different teams ranked in 10 polls last year… This year, two teams have held the No. 1 ranking: Cal State San Marcos (1) and Concordia (5) – last year, there were five different programs… Since 2000, there have been 11 teams to be on top of the polls: Concordia, Cal State San Marcos, former NAIA member California Baptist, Lubbock Christian, Mobile (Ala.), Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma City, Oregon Tech, former NAIA member Simon Fraser (B.C.), former member Shorter (Ga.) and Thomas (Ga.)… California Baptist leads the way with 46 all-time No. 1 appearances, followed by Oklahoma City with 20, Simon Fraser with 18, Thomas with 13, Concordia with 11, Mobile with five and Lubbock Christian with four.
2013 NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Rating No. 5 – April 16)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Concordia (Calif.) (19)||40-3||590|
|2||3||Lubbock Christian (Texas) (2)||44-7||568|
|3||2||Cal State San Marcos||34-6||549|
|5||5||Williams Baptist (Ark.)||35-3||519|
|6||7||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||34-5||491|
|11||14||South Carolina Beaufort||33-3||366|
|12||15||St. Gregory's (Okla.)||30-7||363|
|13||13||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||31-3||358|
|14||12||William Carey (Miss.)||30-13||345|
|16||19||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||35-5||317|
|17||17||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||30-4||283|
|19||18||Rogers State (Okla.)||38-9||236|
|22||23||Spring Hill (Ala.)||31-9||179|